Slip and fall accidents can have devastating consequences. Although some victims may walk away with nothing wounded but their pride, others face severe injuries that will permanently alter the course of their lives.
If your slip and fall injury was caused by a property owner’s negligence, you have the right to be compensated for all the losses you sustained as a result of the slip and fall accident. Call now for your free initial consultation with one of our experienced Traverse City personal injury attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers.
Learn more about common injuries that occur in slip and fall accidents, and the many losses that can be compensated in a personal injury lawsuit.
Every landowner has a legal obligation to maintain his or her property in a safe condition. Landlords who allow dangerous conditions to develop on their property can be held liable (legally responsible) for injuries that occur as a result of their negligence. This is known as premises liability. Premises liability also applies to corporations and other business entities, as well as property management companies that are paid to maintain a property in a safe condition. All of these individuals and companies have control over their properties, which results in a legal duty of care towards others.
So what does this “duty of care” require? The standard is different in each case, and it depends on the type of negligent property owner. Generally speaking, retail and commercial landowners are held to a higher standard of care than private homeowners are. This is because retail and commercial landowners have a financial incentive to invite the public onto their property for the purpose of conducting business.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
There are many types of injuries you might sustain after a slip and fall accident.
Here are a few of the most common:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries (such as sprains and strains)
- Brain damage (This can be mild, such as a concussion, or more severe, leading to permanent loss of brain function.)
- Spine injuries (and associated neurological problems)
- Neck and back injuries (These can be incredibly painful, and can impair your ability to work and even function on a daily basis.)
The Losses You Might Face After a Slip and Fall
There are different types of economic and non-economic losses you can suffer after a slip and fall accident, and a negligent landowner must compensate you for all of the losses you suffer. Some of the most common include:
A negligent landowner should pay any medical bills related to the accident. These medical bills can escalate—especially if you require surgery or inpatient hospitalization. The negligent defendant must also pay for follow-up care, such as consultations with specialists, physical therapy, chiropractic services, and follow-up appointments.
A negligent landowner must also pay for all future medical expenses that are associated with your injury. Because it is not possible to calculate all future expenses with certainty at the time of a personal injury lawsuit, expert witnesses must testify about what these future medical expenses are projected to be.
Your lost wages are calculated with a simple multiplication of the hours you missed times your hourly rate. (Salaries are prorated based upon forty hours of work per week, and this hourly rate is used to calculate lost wages.) If you can prove that you lost out on bonuses, commissions, or other incentive pay, this too can be compensated in a personal injury lawsuit.
A negligent defendant must also pay for any decreases in your future earning potential. If, for example, you suffered permanent injuries that will only allow you to work part-time in the future, the defendant must pay for the difference between your part-time and full-time wages. If you had to move into another career entirely, the defendant must pay the difference between your old wages and the new wages you make in your new job. You must also be compensated for any employment benefits (such as healthcare and retirement contributions) that are lost due to the accident.
Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering are often the largest component of a personal injury award. They are also the most subjective since it is difficult to prove your pain with objective data. Insurance companies will usually attack the amount of your pain and suffering, claiming that your pain was not as bad as reported, that you are exaggerating, or that you were still able to work.
In some cases, insurance companies will even go so far as to hire a private detective to track your movements and obtain video of you working, moving, playing with your children, or otherwise engaging in activities that you couldn’t if you were in pain. These detectives are not hired for their outstanding moral character. You do not know who is following you and your children.
To prove your pain and suffering, your attorney will help you document how your pain has affected your daily life. Perhaps you missed work due to your pain. You might lose the ability to sleep or eat normally, or enjoy your usual activities—such as going to the gym or playing sports. All of these intangible losses are objective indicators of your pain and suffering and are compensable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation with a Traverse City Slip & Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents can quickly lead to substantial financial losses, but you don’t have to bear these costs on your own. It is important to hold negligent landowners accountable for the injuries they cause.
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, our experienced attorneys know how to protect your legal right to compensation. Many Traverse City injury victims have trusted our legal advice during the difficult period of recovery after an accident.
Call (231) 649-2720 or write to us on our online contact form for your free initial consultation. Don’t delay—the sooner you have an attorney fighting for you, the sooner your legal rights will be protected.